Dryden

Dryden

by George Saintsbury
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

John Dryden (1631–1700) was an English poet and playwright, whose works led to the English Restoration period becoming known as 'The Age of Dryden'. Published in 1881 in the first series of English Men of Letters, this biography by George Saintsbury (1845–1933), author and critic, sets Dryden's work against the literary landscape of its time, arguing that…  See more details below

Overview

John Dryden (1631–1700) was an English poet and playwright, whose works led to the English Restoration period becoming known as 'The Age of Dryden'. Published in 1881 in the first series of English Men of Letters, this biography by George Saintsbury (1845–1933), author and critic, sets Dryden's work against the literary landscape of its time, arguing that he reformed English literature, and exploring how he did so, the nature of the reform, and Dryden's contribution to literary history. He shows Dryden to have been a man without moral, political or intellectual agendas who, while not achieving perfection, created works free of elitism and which therefore had far wider relevance to the ordinary man than those of his predecessors. This leads Saintsbury to conclude that while Dryden was no extraordinary genius, he deserves to be considered the greatest craftsman in English letters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940019549382
Publisher:
London, Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
356 KB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER III. PERIOD OF DRAMATIC ACTIVITY. Tiikiik are not many portions of English literature which lmvo boon treated with greater severity by critics than the EiMtontioo drama, and of the Restoration dramatists few Iiavo mot with less favour, in proportion to their general lilomry eminence, than Dryden. Of his comedies, in par- liiMiliir, fow Imve been found to say a good word. His Ktiiriliiwl, i'lminpion, Scott, dismisses them as " heavy;" Haz- litl, u ilcfcmlor of the Restoration comedy in general, finds litl.ln in Uioiii but " ribaldry and extravagance;" and I have lul.cly nomi thoin spoken of with a shudder as "horrible." Tho trni.ilii' Imvo fared better, but not much better; and Iliim tlio roinnrknblo spectacle is presented of a general Ininili'iiiimtioii, varied only by the faintest praise, of the work to which an admitted master of English devoted, iilnnml. i'xi'liinivoly, twenty years of the flower of his man- lininl, No i.inii|iliili. is ilio oblivion into which these dramas li'ii ii i ill. n. Unit n lias Iniriod in its folds the always charm- Inn iinil minii'liiiii'M exquisite songs which they contain. |i'm.ii|i|, In I'niiijri'vc'N iwo editions, and in the bulky edi- Hi.n ni Mi'nll, I ii.vilrn':i ihoniiv U unattainable, and thus the ".ii"illv uT i'riiilorB lmvo but little opportunity of correct- liniii Individual study, tlio unfnvourablo impressions . .1 ii.'in Mi.. M'nliola of the critics. For myself, I amChap, in.] PERIOD OF DRAMATIC ACTIVITY. 39 very far from considering Dryden's dramatic work as on a level with his purely poetical work. But, as nearly always happens, and as happened, by a curious coincidence, in the case of his editor, the fact that he didsomething else much better has obscured the fact that he did this thing in not a few instances very we...

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >